Livestream audio and video quality?
July 30, 2020 1:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm watching an upcoming free livestream of a folk music concert, and have a choice between YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch streams. Which should I choose?

I'm more concerned with audio quality, since I assume the video is not going to be gorgeous HD anyway. My connection is not the fastest (25MBps down) but it is very stable. I essentially never get gaps or bad artifacts while streaming with reliable services. I am willing to hold my nose and watch whichever service is likely to have the best quality.

If anyone really wants specifics, here are the streams on: YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.
posted by wnissen to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think the audio quality will depend on the platform, but on whatever quality/format is streamed, and if your computer/speakers/receiver can process it.
posted by TDIpod at 2:39 PM on July 30, 2020

Best answer: Twitch doesn't do any re-compression of the stream, as far as I can tell. Audio is limited to 160 kbps AC3, according to OBS.

Also according to OBS: Facebook is limited to 128 kbps. YouTube is 160 kbps. This is about what I expected from FB, considering how much they like to compress the hell out of photos and videos.

I'd say avoid FB and use YouTube or Twitch, whichever you prefer.
posted by neckro23 at 4:03 PM on July 30, 2020

Best answer: I watched several "virtual festivals" this summer on both Twitch and YouTube and they were both totally fine audio quality, in many cases identical. Facebook's quality is definitely worse. One thing I liked is that the twitch phone app had an "audio only" mode so I could keep it running in the background while I worked out, I didn't see that option on YouTube but I may have missed it
posted by JZig at 4:17 PM on July 30, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks, all. It was an interesting experience, I tried out all three. Facebook seemed to have the least gapping, possibly due to the fact that it was also the most behind relative to the other two. I couldn't tell any difference in sound quality per se while wearing headphones. Video seemed to be limited by the performer's upstream so I can't draw conclusions.
posted by wnissen at 7:04 AM on August 1, 2020

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